Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health
Executive Director, Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI)
phone: 6048754260
work phone: 6048754111 ext:68898

Biography

Dr. Brotto is an academic psychologist funded by the CIHR, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canadian Pain Society, National Vulvodynia Association, and other foundations. She is frequently sought after for media coverage of sexual health related topics and is actively involved in knowledge dissemination.

Teaching

Sexual health interviewing for medical students and obgyn residents. Supervisor for psychology residency.

Research Interests/Skills

My program of research focuses on women’s sexual health, broadly speaking. Specific lines of research focus on the development and testing of mindfulness-based and psychological treatments for women’s

Publications

2017-2019

1. Hannan-Leith, M. N., Dayan, M., Hatfield, G. Lalumière, M. L. Albert, A. Y., Brotto, L. A. (2019). Is pelvic floor sEMG a measure of women’s sexual response? The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 16(1), 70-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.10.013

2. Wammen Rathenborg, F.L., Zdaniuk, B., Brotto, L.A. (2019). What do different measures of pain tell us? A comparison in sexually active women with provoked vestibulodynia. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 16(2), 278–288. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.12.001

3. Carter, A., Greene, S., Money, D., Sanchez, M., Webster, K., Nicholson, V., Brotto, L.A., Hankins, C., Kestler, M., Pick, N., O’Brien, N., Salters, K., Patterson, S., Proulx-Boucher, K., de Pokomandy, A., Loutfy, M., Kaida, A., CHIWOS Research Team. (In Press). Love with HIV: A latent class analysis of sexual and intimate relationship experiences among Canadian women living with HIV. Archives of Sexual Behaviour.

4. Smith, K. B., Sadownik, L. A., Dargie, E., Albert, A. Y. K., & Brotto, L. A. (2019). Multidisciplinary treatment for provoked vestibulodynia: Treatment trajectories, predictors, and moderators of sexual distress and pain. Clinical Journal of Pain. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000682

5. Dascalu, I. & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Sexual Functioning in Experienced Meditators, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 44(5), 459-467. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2017.1405311

6. Yong, P. J., Williams, C. Bodmer-Roy, S., Ezeigwe, C., Zhu, S., Arion, K., Ambacher, K., Yosef, A., Wong, F., Noga, H., Britnell, S., Yager, H., Bedaiwy, M. A., Brotto, L. A., Albert, A. Y. Lisonkova, S., Allaire, C. (2018). Prospective cohort of deep dyspareunia in an interdisciplinary setting. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 15(12), 1765-1775. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.10.005

7. Bossio, J. A., Basson, R., Driscoll, M., Correia, S., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Mindfulness-based group therapy for men with situational erectile dysfunction: A mixed-methods feasibility analysis and pilot study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 15, 1478-1490. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.08.013

8. Ferreira, J. M., Collins, M., Palmqvist, H., Sollows, E., Pasquino, N., Bahamondes, L., & Brotto, L. A. (In press). Analysis of 16 years of calls and emails to the Options for Sexual Health “Sex Sense” information and referral service. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.

9. Suschinsky, K. D., Huberman, J. S., Maunder, L., Brotto, L. A., Hollenstein, T., & Chivers, M. L. (In press).  The relationship between sexual concordance and sexual functioning in women with and without sexual difficulties. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. 

10. Fadul, R., Garcia, R., Zapata-Boluda, R., Aranda-Pastor C., Brotto, L., Parron-Carreno, T., Alarcon-Rodriguez, R. (2018). Psychological correlates of vaginismus diagnosis: A case-control study. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2018.1484401

11. Jabs, F., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Identifying the disruptions in the sexual response cycles of women with Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 27(2), 123-132. doi:10.3138/cjhs.2018-0011

12. Dunkley, C., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Clinical considerations in treating BDSM practitioners: A review. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Advanced online publication. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2018.1451792

13. Larouche, M., Brotto, L. A., Koenig, N. A., Lee, T., Cundiff, G.W., & Geoffrion, R. (2018). Depression, anxiety and pelvic floor symptoms before and after surgery for pelvic floor dysfunction. Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000582

14. Carter, A., Greene, S., Money, D., Sanchez, M., Webster, K., Nicholson, V., Brotto, L. A., Hankins, C., Kestler, M., Pick, N., O’Brien, N., Salters, K., Patterson, S., Proulx-Boucher, K., de Pokomandy, A., Loutfy, M., Kaida, A., CHIWOS Research Team. (2018). The importance of sex in the lives of women living with HIV: A critical quantitative analysis. International Journal of Sexual Health, 30(1), 92-110. doi:10.1080/19317611.2018.1447527

15. Carter, A., Greene, S., Money, D., Hogg, R. S., Sanchez, M., Webster, K., Nicholson, V., Salters, K., Brotto, L. A., Hankins, C., Kestler, M., Pick, N., O’Brien, N., Patterson, S., Proulx-Boucher, K., de Pokomandy, A., Loutfy, M., Kaida, A., CHIWOS Research Team. (2018). Supporting the sexual rights of women living with HIV: A critical analysis of sexual satisfaction and pleasure across five relationships types. Journal of Sex Research, 55(9), 1134-1154. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2018.1440370

16. Velten, J., Margraf, J., Chivers, M. L., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Effects of a mindfulness task on women’s sexual response. Journal of Sex Research, 55(6) 747-757. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1408768

17. Velten, J., & Brotto, L. A. (2017). Interoception and sexual response in women with low sexual desire. PLOS One, 12(10) 1-16.  doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0185979.

18. O’Loughlin, J., Basson, R., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder versus sexual interest/arousal disorder: An empirical test of raising the bar. Journal of Sex Research, 55(6), 734-746. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1386764

19. Smith, K. B., Basson, R., Sadownik, L., Isaacson, J., & Brotto. L. A. (2018). Antenatal vulvar pain management, labour management, and post-partum care of women with vulvodynia: A survey of physicians and midwives. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Canada. 40(5), 579-587

20. Velten, J., Chivers, M. L., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Does repeated testing impact concordance between genital and self-reported sexual arousal in women? Archives of Sexual Behavior. 47, 651–660. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-1076-4

21. Carter, A., Greene, S., Money, D., Sanchez, M., Webster, K., Nicholson, V., Whitbread J., Salters, K., Patterson, S., Loutfy, M., Pick, N., Brotto, L. A., Hankins, C., & Kaida, A. (2017). The problematization of sexuality among women living with HIV and a new feminist approach for understanding and enhancing women’s sexual lives. Sex Roles, 77(11-12), 779-800. doi: 10.1007/s11199-017-0826-z

22. Dascalu, I., & Brotto, L. A. (2018). Sexual functioning in experienced meditators. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 44(5), 459-467. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2017.1405311

23. Brotto, L. A., & Yule, M. (2017). Asexuality: Sexual orientation, paraphilia, sexual dysfunction, or none of the above? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(3), 619-627. doi: 10.1007/s10508-016-0802-7  

24. Brotto, L. A. (2017). Evidenced-based treatments for low sexual desire in women. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 45, 11-17. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2017.02.001

25. Arora, N., & Brotto, L. A. (2017). How does paying attention improve sexual function in women? A review of mechanisms. Sexual Medicine Reviews, 5(3), 266-274. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.01.005

26. Li-Yun-Fong, R. J., Larouche, M., Hyakutake, M., Koening, N., Lovatt, C., Geoffrion, R., Brotto, L. A., Lee, T., & Cundiff, G. W. (2017). Is pelvic floor dysfunction an independent threat to sexual function? A cross-sectional study in women with pelvic floor dysfunction. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 14, 226-237. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.11.323

27. Yule, M. A., Brotto, L. A., & Gorzalka, B.B. (2017). Human asexuality: What do we know about the lack of sexual attraction? Current Sexual Health Reports, 9(1), 50-56. doi: 10.1007/s11930-017-0100-y

28. Chivers, M. L., Basson, R.,  Brotto, L. A., Graham, C. A., Stephenson, K. R., (2017). Statistical and epistemological issues in the evaluation of treatment efficacy of pharmaceutical, psychological and combination treatments for women’s sexual desire difficulties. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 43(3) 210-217. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2016.1266538

29. Yule, M. A., Brotto, L. A., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2017). Sexual fantasy and masturbation among asexual individuals: An in-depth exploration. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 311–328. doi: 10.1007/s10508-016-0870-8

30. Brotto, L. A., Basson, R., Chivers, M. L., Graham, C. A., Pollock, P., Stephenson, K. R. (2017). Challenges in designing psychological treatment studies for sexual dysfunction.  Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 43(3), 191-200.  doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2016.1212294.

31. Brotto, L. A., Dunkley, C., Breckon, E., Carter, J., Brown, C., Daniluk, J., & Miller, D. (2017). Integrating quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate an online psychoeducational program for sexual difficulties in colorectal and gynecologic cancer survivors. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 43(7), 645-662. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2016.1230805.

32. Sadownik, L. A., Smith, K. B., Hui, A., & Brotto, L. A. (2017). The impact of a woman’s dyspareunia, and its treatment, on her intimate partner: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 43(6), 529-542. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2016.1208697

33. Chivers, M. L., & Brotto, L. A. (2017). Controversies of women’s sexual arousal and desire. European Psychologist, 22(1), 5-26. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000274. 

34. Paterson, L. Q. P., Handy, A. B., & Brotto, L. A. (2017). A pilot study of 8-session mindfulness-based cognitive therapy adapted for women’s sexual interest/arousal disorder. Journal of Sex Research, 54(7), 850-861. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2016.1208800

Grants
  • UBC VP Research & Innovation / Collaborative Research Mobility Award.
    Transforming women’s health care through research and collaboration: A provincial strategy.  (2018-2019).
    PI: Brotto. L.

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Undergraduate Summer Researcher Award.
    Investigations into the neural underpinnings & biological correlates of asexuality. 
    (2018).
    PI:
    Brotto. L. Student: Wang, A.

  • International Society for Sexual Medicine Grant
    EYES Study: Investigating visual attention and sexual response in women with and without sexual concerns.
    (2017-2019).
    PIs: Velten, J. &
    Brotto, L. A.

  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Reach Award
    Disseminating infographic scientific data about women’s genital pain using social media.
    (2017).
    PI: Brotto, L. A.
    Co-Lead: Barry, L.

  • Prostate Cancer Canada, Movember Discovery Grant
    Innovations in the treatment of sexual dysfunction and couple intimacy after prostate cancer: A randomized trial of mindfulness versus cognitive behavioural therapy.
    (2017-2019).
    PI:
    Brotto, L.
    Co-I:  Higano, C. 

  •      Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Scholars Theme Development Workshop.
    Establishing a UBC collaborative of mindfulness and contemplative practices research.  (2017).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Planning and Dissemination Grant.
    Improving consideration of sex and gender in clinical trials of cardiovascular disease.  (2016-2017).
    PIs: Brotto, L., & Pederson, A.
    Co-Is: Coen, S., Doull, M. J., Jull, J. E., Petkovic, J., Puil, L., Runnels, V. E., Shea, B. J., Welch, V. A., Yoganathan, M.
  •       Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Discovery Grant Program Award.
    Investigations into the neural underpinnings and biological correlates of asexuality. (2017-2022).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •       Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Convening & Collaborating award.
    Transforming women’s health through research: A provincial research strategy. (2016-2018).
    PI: Brotto, L.
    Co-Is: Shaw, D., Ogilvie, G., Mitchell, S., & K. Dewar.
  •       Astrazeneca Canada Inc.
    Oncology clinic-based testing in British Columbia. (2016-2017).
    PIs: Brotto, L.A., & Schrader, I.
    CoI’s: Sun, S., Aubertin, G., Nuk, J.
  •      Canadian Foundation for Innovation / John R. Evans Leaders Fund – Partnerships, in collaboration with British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.
    UBC Women’s Sexual and Vulvo-vaginal Health Research Facility. (2016-2017).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •      VCHRI 2015 Innovation and Translational Research Award.
    North America’s first Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program: Establishing a program of research to improve genital pain in BC women. (2015-2017).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Smith, K. & Sadownik, L.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Operating grant.
    Randomized comparison of mindfulness versus group support for treatment of low sexual desire in women. (2014-2019).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Basson, R., Chivers, M., Lalumière, M. & Schonert-Reichl, K.
  •       Leslie Diamond Foundation.
    Ending unvoiced pain: A comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for women’s genital pain.  (2013).
    PIs: Brotto, L.A., Sadownik, L., & Thomson, S.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dissemination Grant.
    Exporting an effective and feasible multidisciplinary vulvodynia program to the community. (2013-2014).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Sadownik, L.A., Klein, C.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dissemination Grant.
    Innovations in gynaecologic specialties: Translating science into improved health for Canadian women. (2013-2014).
    PI: Brotto, L. A.
    Co-Is: Allaire, C., Cundiff, G., Geoffrion, R., Lazare, D., Money, D., Smith, K., Wilkie, D., Williams, C., Yong, P.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Operating Grant.
    Integrated Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy versus Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Provoked Vestibulodynia.  (2012- 2015).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Basson, R., Bergeron, S., Grabovac, A., Sadownik, L., Smith, K., Driscoll, M.
  •       National Vulvodynia Association, Medical Research Fund.
    Fertility, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Pain Outcomes among Women with Vulvodynia. (2011-2015).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Smith, K.B., Basson, R., Sadownik, L.A.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Operating Grant.
    Stress Hormones, Mood and Women’s Sexual Desire. (2011-2015).
    PIs: Brotto, L.A., & Basson, R.
    Co-Is: Petkau, A., Rellini, A.H., Weinberg, J., Young, A.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Catalyst Grant.
    Online psychoeducational treatment for sexual dysfunction in cancer survivors. (2010-2014).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Miller, D., & Brown, C.
  •       BC Mental Health and Addictions Research Network Seed Grant.
    Biological markers of asexuality. (2010).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •       BC Mental Health and Addictions Research Network Development Grant.
    Multidisciplinary vulvodynia research program. (2010).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Sadownik, L., Thomson, S.
  •       Hampton Research Fund Endowment.
    Sex, memory, and culture. (2009-2011).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Gorzalka, B.B. & Ryder, A.G.
  •       Women’s Health Research Institute Catalyst Grant.
    The IMPROVED study: Integrated mindfulness for provoked vestibulodynia. (2009-2010).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Basson, R., Knudson, G., Sadownik, L., & Thomson, S.
  •       Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Grant-in-Aid Program.
    Exploring acculturation and attitudes in Chinese women’s reproductive health behaviours.  (2008-2009).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •       Canadian Pain Society.
    Physician outreach and education about vulvodynia and the new Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program (MVP). (2008).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •       Leslie Diamond Foundation.
    Ending unvoiced pain: A comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for women’s genital pain. (2008-2014).
    PIs: Brotto, L.A., Sadownik, L., & Thomson, S.
  •       British Columbia Medical Services Foundation Grant.
    Group psychoeducational treatment for women with sexual arousal and desire difficulties. (2007-2012).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Basson, R., Knudson, G., & Luria, M.
  •            Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Operating Grant.
    Advanced ovarian cancer and sexuality. (2006-2011).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Ehlen, T., Heywood, M., Hoskins, P. Miller, D., Pike, J., Plante, M, Stuart, G., Swenerton, P.
  •          HeRRO CIHR Seed Funds.
    Cancer health behaviours, attitudes towards sexuality, and acculturation: Decreasing disparities in East Asian women. (2006).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Barroetavena, M.C., & Gorzalka, B.
  •           Hampton Fund Research Grant in the Humanities and Social Sciences
    The role of acculturation in the interaction between barriers to cancer screening and sexuality-related beliefs and behaviours. (2006-2008).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Barroetavena, M.C., Gorzalka, B.B.
  •       British Columbia Cancer Agency.
    Exploring Damocles Syndrome (fear of cancer recurrence) in patients and health care providers. (2006).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •       Faculty of Medicine, Spring Start Up Funds.
    Efficacy of psychoeducation and Zestra™ for sexual dysfunction after radiation therapy. (2005).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
  •           Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Establishment Grant.
    Cervical cancer and sexuality: Effects of a psychoeducational intervention and sildenafil on sexual arousal, relationship satisfaction and quality of life after hysterectomy.  (2004-2006).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Basson, R., Thompson, S., Miller, D.
  •       Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Operating Grant.
    Cervical cancer and sexuality: Effects of a psychoeducational intervention and sildenafil on sexual arousal, relationship satisfaction, and quality of life after hysterectomy.  (2004-2008).
    PI: Brotto, L.A.
    Co-Is: Basson, R., Thompson, S., Miller, D.

Awards

The Association of Academic Professionals in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (APOG) Excellence in Research Award (2017)

Nominated to receive a Women Influencer Award from the Women’s Collaborative Hub (2017)

Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association (2016)

Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health, Tier 2 (2016-2021)

The Ira and Harriet Reiss Theory Award for Bogaert & Brotto (2014) “Object of Desire Self-Consciousness Theory”, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 40, 323-338. Sponsored by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. (2015)

University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Clinical and Applied Research. (2015)

 Nominated to receive the UBC President’s Award for Public Education through Media. (2014)

Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, Early Career Scholar (2011-2012)

 Nominated to receive the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, Health and Active Living Category. (2009)

International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, Prize Essay Award Recipient. (2008)